Cyprus Mail

Convention to examine whether Cyprus’ pygmy hippo was hunted to extinction

Cypriot pygmy hippopotamus skull and jaw (Photo: Limassol Archeological Museum)

A convention for the extinct pygmy hippopotamus will take place in Ayia Napa’s Thalassa municipal museum in November.

The event is being organised by the municipality and the geological surveys department on November 9 at 8:30am to 1:30pm and will include the opening of the excavation site for pygmy hippos in Ayia Napa Sculpture Park.

Pygmy hippopotamus has been extinct in Cyprus for about 10,000 years. Masses of bones of pygmy hippopotamus were also found in Aetokremnos (‘Cliff of the Eagles’) in Limassol along with human hunting tools, providing evidence that humans might have driven them to extinction.

Environment Minister Kostas Kadis will attend the event as well as the head of the geological surveys department.

Academics from Cyprus and Greece will give brief presentations during the convention on the latest 25-year research on the herbivorous animal, and discuss the environmental research during the time of extinction of the pygmy hippopotamus in Cyprus.

Participants will also have the opportunity to learn a little bit about the European hippopotamuses as well as elephants in Cyprus. An open discussion will follow the lectures.

People who wish to participate should contact the geological surveys department and register by November 1.

For more information 22409213.

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